No longer viable are the days of selling a one size fits all product or service to customers. If you are still stuck in that kind of mentality, you will be left behind. The market is evolving into needs based selling and customer oriented focused services. However, it is not easy to be a needs based seller that is customer oriented. This requires knowledge, skill and the correct attitude.
In order to become a truly customer oriented salesperson that sells on needs, you need to know what your potential customers are thinking and what you should focus on in order to clinch that deal. Here are 6 questions you need to ask yourself in order to become a customer oriented needs based salesperson:
Question #1 – What are the reasons that your customers are engaging in a conversation with you?
There are three reasons why customers engage in conversations. To create a new status quo, to repel an old status quo and to maintain the present status quo. Find out their purpose of engagement which is one of the reasons stated here and you will be on your way to serve them better.
Question #2 – What is their comfortable budget?
Almost every customer will have a figure in mind even when they tell you they don’t. Never buy into those stories as customers are always shopping for the best deals and they will not tell you that so that they can be more flexible in their decision making.
If your product or service is above their budget, you have to justify why the charges are higher and what the customers are actually paying for.
If your product or service is less than their budget, you also have to explain the rationale behind that. Never leave your customers to make perceptions. Chances are they might think that the product or service
rendered is going to be under expectations for the price they are paying for.
If your product or service matches their budget, your customers will lap up your product or service without hesitation, which is the ideal situation that rarely happens.
Question #3 – What level of quality do they desire?
You will be surprised to know that the popular belief of the best quality with the right price will normally move your customer’s hearts. In reality, customers do not always go for the best quality even though the price may be justified.
Ask your customers what level of quality they are looking for and match their requirements with your product or service. Always keep in mind that the customer have the final choice, avoid making presumptions that your “best” is theirs.
Question #4 – What is their underlying value tone?
This is often taken note of by sophisticated needs based sales people. They know that the customers have to meet their own value judgement on products and services and will assist them in matching the right product or service with their budget. An easy way to prevent buyer’s remorse is to imagine you in their position and see what pros and cons are for purchasing the product or service offered.
Question #5 – What product features and functions are customers looking for?
The easiest way to find that out is to ask your customers directly. Ask them about the features and functions they need and those they can do without. Ask them on how they are going to use your product or service and find the matching fit. We do not like to pay for things we do not need, so do your customers. The focus should always be on satisfying their needs. When they realise the high ethics that you are operating with, chances are you have a loyal customer that will keep returning and also refer new customers to you.
Question #6 – Their preferred mode for payment?
The very last step of the business transaction is the closing. Even though every part of the sales process may precede smoothly but the transaction still fails because your customer’s preferred mode of payment and structure is unavailable. The solution is to offer flexible and accommodation payment modes. Try to focus on making it a pleasant and convenient shopping experience for your customers.
The above points are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to needs based selling. The ideal sales process is always to strive for a win-win situation for your customers, organisation and its people. Everyone ends up benefiting and happy, so do your pockets.
By Daniel Blare